Jewish Care announce plans to resume in-person activity

03 Jun 2021

We are delighted to announce our plans to resume in-person activity and welcome our members and volunteers back to our centres, cautiously and safely. We have missed them dearly and will be very happy to be able to see them again in person. 

We have taken the last few months to upgrade our offering to members by relocating some centres and activities to make full use of and provide better access to the facilities on our state-of-the-art care campuses and helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of Jewish Care so that we can continue to be there now and for future generations to come. This is in line with our long-term strategic plan which sees us focus on strengthening our hubs across East London and Essex, North London, North West London and South Hertfordshire. 

Alongside a change in location for some activities and services will also be a change in hours of operation, better reflecting the times of attendance we saw at centres before the pandemic to reflect the wants and needs of the community.

Some of these changes will include the relocation of the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon to a dedicated space at the Michael Sobell Jewish Community Centre, which forms part of the state-of-the-art Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus in Golders Green. This will give members better access to a wider range of activity at the centre with increased transport links, parking and a more convenient commute for those survivors living in Selig Court, also at the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus.

We will also be moving our Brenner Centre at Stepney Jewish Community Centre, at Raine House to operate from local synagogue halls and community buildings in the area. We remain committed to providing services in East London to all our clients who are reliant on them and are committed to doing so in a way that ensures their current and future needs are met.

Activity at the Redbridge Jewish Community Centre will also be taking place across a number of local synagogue halls and communal buildings while we move forward with our long-term strategic plan to redevelop the existing RJCC site to house a new, modern, multi-million pound campus with a brand new community centre and a new residential care home (to replace Vi & John Rubens House in Gants Hill). We are currently seeking planning permission from the London Borough of Redbridge for this development.

Other changes include relocating some of our Connect@ centres to one of our hubs; The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre in Friern Barnet, the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus in Golders Green, and our latest Sandringham site on the border of Stanmore and Hertfordshire in order to offer a wider range of activity in an upgraded space.

Alongside these changes, we are proud to announce the opening of the Ronson Family Community Centre at Sandringham, incorporating activity for our Edgware and Harrow Day Centre; and the brand new Ruchi & Zalman Noé Centre for People Living with Dementia at Sandringham, incorporating the Leonard Sainer Centre for People Living with Dementia, which will no longer operate from its site in Edgware.

These new centres are set in our newest state-of-the-art campus at Sandringham, nestled in over 16 acres of beautiful woodland and are part of an exciting new offer to a growing community.

Our online and virtual services, programmes and events will continue alongside resuming face-to-face activity. We saw a huge uptake in these services throughout the pandemic with members of the community outside of London and overseas accessing them too. Our priority is to make sure that all our members can take part in our programming in the most accessible way for them, and that no one misses out on activities they want to attend. To that end, we will be offering a way to access in-person events online in addition to physical events recommencing. 

We know how vital our Meals on Wheels, telephone befriending, digital engagement and social work and family carers support services are to so many of our members and their families and are pleased to say that they will all very much continue as they have been over the last year.  

While our priority is to resume face-to-face activity as soon as it is safe to do so, we must prioritise our more vulnerable members’ needs. This means that our Dementia Day Centres will be the first centres to resume in-person activity. We hope to be able to resume activity for the members of these centres in July.

We will be working hard to make sure that all other centres will also be able to re-open shortly after. Other centres will aim to open throughout the summer across dates in July and August. Where some activities will now be taking place in synagogue halls or communal buildings, it is impractical for them to resume until after the High Holy Days in October.

Out digital services, online events and activities, telephone befriending and Meals on Wheels will continue as usual. 

The safety of our members, volunteers and staff remains our priority and we will be taking a number of precautions in line with Government guidance to ensure that any in-person activity is done safely and minimises any potential risk from Covid-19. We continue to constantly review and assess the situation with new variants emerging. Whilst we hope to be able to re-open on the dates we are working towards, we will only do so if we are sure that it is safe, and therefore these are subject to change, although we do hope that they will not.

We will be recruiting a number of talented staff to brand new roles to reflect the new service offering. These members of staff will help to ensure the smooth return and running of in-person activity now and in the future. 

Jewish Care has always aimed to reflect the current needs of the community and anticipate needs for the future. These changes reflect the current needs of our community and have always been a part of our strategic plan, hastened due to the pandemic.  

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Chief Executive, Jewish Care, said:

“We are delighted to be able to share our plans for re-opening centres and resuming in-person activity. The pandemic has changed the way that many of us operate and Jewish Care is no exception. We have taken the opportunity to look at what we can do for our members that better reflects their needs now, the future needs of the community, and how we offer more choice and flexibility moving forward.

“So many of our members have shown incredible resilience and adversity over the last year, and we have seen a huge uptake in our digital events and offering, but for some, this has been no substitute for the company and comfort that in-person activity can offer. As long as we are able to do so safely, we are very excited to be able to see our members, volunteers and staff back in our centres and adding to the Jewish Care family.”